Pitting myself against myself is difficult, but necessary. I suffer as I accept the pain that is acknowledgment of the crutches I have used to feel secure. Security comes from knowledge, but knowledge is mostly based upon the past; such as Art History. Easy instincts can be delusional. Becoming oneself requires acceptance of delusion. Delusion is based upon experience. Trueness is found internally. Experience is external interaction with the people and the places one encounters. Places are more pure than people. People are a confusing mess of bias. Bias is quick acceptance of perception. Perception is not always true; what one sees is not always actual circumstance. Ask a magician.
The drawings I show today are from 7/12/2020. In making them I tried to dispel instinct. Instinct calls for me to fill the page with marks and forms. Marks and forms come easy to me. Hard for me is to hunker down into personal judgement. If done well, judgmental decisions make possible immediate perception of truth. This is the suffering part. Eating ice cream is easy; ice cream is a known delight, one that never fails to reward with pleasure. Easy pleasure is ingrained in humans by millennia of evolutionary success. This is bias. I am here now. Easy pleasure is not expression. Easy pleasure is falling into evolutionary instincts. Eating ice cream corrupts the human body. Ice cream is filled with high cholesterol animal fat and pure white sugar, both of which slowly degrade the body when chronically consumed. Chronic consumption, based on instinctual bias, is an obvious corruption of reality. Drug addicts will tell you this; sugar addicts will tell you this.
I am on a quest to find truth, truth free of bias. I want my art to be lastingly true, for me and for those who observe my art. Being internally authentic is not free of pain, particular the pain that is deprivation of easily available pure pleasure.
One more drawing; one more day; many more thoughts on how my art should be. Never a minute relaxed; never without discontent and anxiety; always in my head there is this question, "How can it be better?" What should I try? In what image can I find truth and reality? Always there are more questions, more answers. No answer feels adequate! I must try again, make more answers. Relentless!
As good as yesterday's drawing is, I believe it can be better. There is a thrust of darkness that begins in the upper middle and moves diagonally to the lower portion of this drawing. The clarity of this thrust gets a bit vague in the lower portion of the the drawing. I believe, if I enhance this movement it will enhance the drawing. The proof will come in the doing. I will post its final state tomorrow.
FYI: I have been busy framing works for the first of my Spring/Summer exhibitions. I deliver works to AVA Gallery (Lebanon, NH) on April 26 (opening on May 10). I will neglect my new paintings till the older paintings are framed, cleaned-up, varnished, ready to go to AVA. I will continue to make drawings. Making Art is ingrained in me, rewarding to me as necessary to problem solving life and living. Art to me is an indicator of Life; I cannot stop doing it. I believe my recent drawings are excellent, perhaps the best I have ever done. This reward of quality keeps me involved, day by day, relentlessly.
Stunning! The arrow returns but returns stronger and with more accuracy. I am hitting my marks! Surprised I am. Always, upon rest and recreation, I return with greater insight and acuity. This should not be surprising. It makes me question my normal, daily habits. Is there an optimum manner to approach art-making? What is the best relationship between rest and activity to acquire maximum insight? The problem is this: I like routine! I enjoy showing up in the studio. I enjoy asking questions and looking for answers. However, as yesterday's success illustrates, solutions may not come easily through unmitigated, daily effort. Internalization is necessary. Internalization is a full brain activity; it takes time. Percolation! The painting Along for the Ride ain't done yet!
A huge indicator of my internal life, unfettered and unconscious, is the stuff you see before you today. Actually, you see it in everything I make. Ideas spill from a place in my subconscious. I have an internal life, active and more interesting than what I have seen and know. The growth of my art, its depth, its sophistication, its reference to a world and to history bigger than mine, is astoundingly reliable. I walk into the studio everyday and get surprised. This is one great reason to return, day, after day, after day...
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